Call of Duty: World at War
Yeah more call of duty . The award winning FPS series returns with a new WWII set offering of crazy firefight but not so epic of a feel. I was hoping the foray back to the war of the century would be a fantastic return to the series roots but sadly I feel a bit unsatisfied.
World at War isn't a bad game. It's just that it's more of the same with a few steps back. This time the game has happily provided us with the thus far under implemented Pacific campaign, which in the past has had trouble transferring it's tropical and brutal enemies to the video game scene (if you've played Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, you know what I mean). The scene needless to say is excellent. The pacific war has finally been give a good video game incarnation and the surprise attacks and banzai charges will give you a good run for you're money as you fight to survive in the war against Imperial Japan. The environments of the pacific are amazing and little things like banzai charges and japanese troops playing dead as you walk over their "corpses" is a nice plus to add new gameplay to make the pacific feel like a different war. Also I fell to note that this game probably has the best flamethrower I've ever seen in an FPS and it just feels right in the setting. Another thing I love is that someone's finally grown a brain and realized M1 Garands can be reloaded without completely emptying the clip (so annoying to fire those last two or three bullets into the ground so you can have a fresh clip for the next fire fight because of the most retarded myth I've ever seen in a shooter).
Sadly that's where I feel the good ends. This game is littered with little things that just tick me and leave me incredibly frustrated. First the levels are too short. I hate how games these days seem to be giving shorter and shorter solo play experiences as if multiplayer will satisfy us all (it won't). While the campaign often hits strokes of brilliance from the battle for Okinawa to rescue missions in a PBY-Catalina it's easily broken by annoying little issues.
While I wasn't fond of the series' modern incarnation that was the fourth entry I did love how the game seemlessly kept the amazing gameplay intact i loved that it had story. It felt like a Tom Clancy novel minus the negative aspects of Tom Clancy's writing! It was great and little snippets like Shock and Awe were mind blowingly exciting, making the game feel like a movie where you play a character or two and watch it unfold. World at War doesn't have this. I can tell they tried but the story is incomprehensible, jumping around all over the place with little guidance. Quite literally the game jumps through time from 1944 to 1942 to the invasion of Okinawa and then back to the fall of Berlin months before. Frankly I'd have preferred it if they'd just dumped Russia all together. Come on guys, if you think D-Day has been done too much, why do we need the battle of Stalingrad in every CoD game especially when it finally looked like we were going somewhere else! The british and the russians fought Japan too you know why couldn't we just stay in the far east instead of jumping through space and time to two completely different fronts?
To make matters worse this is the first Call of Duty without a bad arse brit named Price with a crazy cool mustache (damn it it is going to hell). This game is lacking in characters I can care about and after what we got in a cast from Call of Duty 4 it feels like a rip off. The attempts to play off the tragedies of the war in the pacific and the supposed blood lust of the red army's revenge against nazi germany come off as corny and annoying.
That's enough about story I suppose. It's an FPS we don't expect much. What really makes and FPS in gameplay but sadly I find myself mixed over what we have here. The game is mind blowingly annoying to play. I prefer to call it Call of Duty: Grenades and Glory. You will literally find half your deaths to be the result of either a horrible grenade danger indicator or the fact that quite literally you will more often than not find that when one grenade lies next to you, five more will follow and surround you giving you no escape. The grenade indicator is to small, I literally don't notice it half the time and even then it doesn't always come up when a grenade is close enough to kill or hurt you. Even if you do see it, be ready to find as many as six or seven (yes six or seven) grenades surrounding you literally offering no chance for survival. In one level (watch out for "Blowtorch and Corckscrew") you will literally find you're self pelted with wave after wave of grenades no more than five steps into the level! It might seem like I'm making a lot of fuss over grenades but I am series. These things have been the only cause of my deaths thus far in veteran difficulty as i am constantly being hounded by the player seeking grenade field of DOOM!
This little thing completely breaks the gameplay for me as i spend half my time looking for a way to avoid being blown to bits. It literally leaves me with little to no time to actually shoot anything about 50% of the time I play. To worsen this fact, is that the aiming seems to have taken a drastic hit. You'll find that you'll often hit someone square in the face but not kill them, or not hit them at all a get shot in the face and die in return (veteran difficulty only). You're allies are more useless than usual, often simply standing around looking at the ground or hanging back two or three corners while you fight everyone yourself. The game also lacks the epic feel it has had in the past. The battles don't seem so big, and at times I find that playing the game is less epic fun and more an annoying chore. I also notice that this game that once sounded like a symphony orchestra with fire arms now sounds incredibly generic like the sound files for what the guns actually sound like has been trashed or lost and they didn't think of replacing them.
Again I won't say it's a bad game. It's just no where near what I think some might have wanted from it. There are moments of brilliance like the Catalina mission and the opening mission that crack up the annoying monotony. There's even a special (really awesome) surprise for beating the game that doesn't feel very Call of Duty, but is insanely fun none the less. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to buy another copy of the game and find the experience much better like mine is defective or something but I'm not made of money and it's rude to return christmas gifts .
Rent or Buy: I suggest renting it if you don't have online. If you have online, well, come on, it's Call of Duty that part of the game is never going to be bad. If you love the series you might love this game but I've found a multitude of little annoyances that break it for me. I suggest a rent before you do anything else.
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